Once Upon a Time: Tripping on a Magic Mushroom (S5 E3 RECAP)


This week on Once, King Arthur and Prince Charming take a shroom-inspired trip together. Emma’s fast food-flavored seduction of Hook fails miserably. And King Arthur ends up being just as big of a douchebag as we all instantly suspected him of being. Let’s review, shall we?

So Many Tools, So Little Time

ONCE UPON A TIME: Tripping on a Magic Mushroom (S5 E3 RECAP)

When the episode begins, Emma is running around Storybrooke stealing tools from all the biggest tools in town (i.e. Grumpy). The Dark Swan hopes that these tools will help her break Excalibur out of its stone and reunite it with her Dark One sword, instantly converting Emma into the Biggest Asshole on the Planet, which will inevitably cause her eyebrows to look even weirder than they do now.

dark one

Unfortunately, Emma’s preexisting asshole condition prevents her from being particularly handy with tools (Assholes don’t have hands!), or anything involving white magic. So, instead, she is forced to find a non-assholey “hero” to do her dirty tool-fondling work for her. (But that hero probably won’t be Robin Hood, because he’s currently busy looking at dirty pictures of pregnant Zelena’s innards on his cell phone).

up inside whoa

All this scheming involving tools and heroes makes Emma very horny, so she calls upon Hook to help her scratch that itch. The Dark Swan appropriately meets with Hook aboard the Jolly Roger, a.k.a. the big ole ship that’s clearly a metaphor for the Good Captain’s weiner. Emma pulls out all the stops to make Hook her obedient boy toy again. And by “pulls out all the stops,” I mean she takes off her asshole makeup, puts on a pink shirt, messes up her ponytail, and orders some fast food from Granny’s. It’s a wonder Hook’s panties didn’t fall to the floor immediately upon entering the room!

captain swan

Hook is clearly not buying what Emma is selling (either that or he’s on diet and can’t eat all the greasy heart attack food she’s serving). So, Emma offers Hook the chance to put his heart on the line for her while, at the same time, giving him an escape clause to their relationship.

dont love

It’s an out that Hook takes rather quickly.


Hook’s response, quite honestly, is pretty disappointing from a TV Boyfriend perspective, especially considering the fact that, apart from getting a hairbun and some weird eyebrows, stealing some tools, temporarily stalling a couple of dwarves, and running around telling everyone that she’s a big ole asshole now, has “Dark One” Emma really done anything all that assholey yet?

emma dark one

I feel like I’ve personally acted more assholey than Dark Emma, just after suffering from a really bad case of PMS . . .


What a Strange Homoerotic Trip This Has Been

Back in Camelot, the Storybrooke crew magically happen upon a book that informs them (IN REAL WORDS! NOT JUST PICTURES! WHO KNEW THESE PEOPLE COULD ACTUALLY READ?) that they could talk to Merlin while he’s a tree if they eat a magic mushroom.


Now, having not ever dabbled in hallucinogens, I can’t personally attest to this fact. However, it’s been my general understanding that there are many shrooms that enable you to believe you have the power to talk to people inside trees, not just the big red one showcased in this episode.

Nevertheless, Prince Charming, clearly bored with his sober time in Storybrooke, immediately volunteers to take this particular mushroom trip. And King Arthur, who has been eyeing Charming as though he has a sizable boner for him since the first episode of the season (Sorry, Queen Guinevere!), happily agrees to trip on the mushroom with him.

hump 1 hump 2

As far as drug journeys go, this particular “fantastic voyage” seems pretty tame. (It is Disney, after all.) It basically involves Charming and Arthur eye-f*&king one another a whole bunch and Arthur sitting on his ass while Charming crosses a bridge and decapitates some painfully-easy-to-defeat underwater merman knights.


Unfortunately for Charming, by the time he finishes what is pretty much the only remotely challenging part of this “spirit quest,” King Arthur has already stolen the magic mushroom right out from under him . . . probably so that he can go on a much better, non-Disney approved, trip on the inevitable Cinemax version of this story.

Because of this shroom-theft, no one gets to talk to the Merlin-Tree, which is a serious bummer for all those Merlin-Tree fans out there.

“I’ve literally got a stick up my ass. And this tree smells like feet. Bondage seemed so much hotter in those Fifty Shades of Grey books...”

Clearly, not a Merlin-Tree Fan . . .

After the trip, King Arthur rewards Charming (For what? Being really good at eye-f*&king? How cute his butt looks when it crosses a bridge? Not keeping a very close eye on the largest, most difficult to hide, mushroom on the planet?) by letting him sit in a vaguely nice chair for about two minutes. (I’ve seen more comfortable-looking chairs at my local Ikea, just saying.) The chair is called the Siege Perilous (Just like the episode title! How clever!), and it’s meant for only the butt of the knight with the purest heart or something.

the chair

This butt’s for you!

Prince Charming is so thrilled about the highly honored state of his bum that he nearly forgets about the whole “mushroom that lets you talk to people in trees” thing, thus proving that, while Charming may have a pure heart and a cute backside, he doesn’t have much in the brains department . . .

Meanwhile, Lancelot pulls Snow White aside to tell her that King Arthur is actually kind of a douchebag, which, based on what we’ve seen so far, seems to be 100% the case. Then again, Lancelot might just be saying this because he’s sour grapes about his ass not having been chosen to sit in the vaguely nice chair . . . (especially since the rest of the uber-uncomfortable chairs on the roundtable look like they probably give the knights a permanently bad case of hemorrhoids.)


Whack a Mole

Back in Storybrooke, Douchebag King Arthur capitalizes on the opportunity to hit on Prince Charming again, by making up another fake quest for them to go on. This one involves a magical chest that supposedly used to contain a magical bean that could transport all the Camelot-ians back home. (Between magical mushrooms that let you talk to people in trees and magical beans that beam you to other worlds, King Arthur is shaping up to be the biggest drug pushing fairytale character ever!)


King Arthur tells everyone in his camp that they have to drink from the same cup and this will somehow tell him who stole the magical bean. This is obviously super unsanitary, and if the Camelot-ians are smart, they won’t comply with this request. (Not to mention the fact that, knowing this King Arthur, he probably drugged the mug or at least put his “magical pee” inside it.)

Fortunately for the rest of the Camelot-ians, one of King Arthur’s squires conveniently confesses to the thievery and then promptly rushes off on his horse. Thinking fast (and being dumb), Prince Charming decides to have King Arthur, who has never ridden anything more motorized than a horse-drawn carriage, DRIVE HIS PICKUP TRUCK while Charming sticks his head out the window like a dog and ATTEMPTS TO KNOCK OVER THE WOULD-BE THIEF WITH A VERY LARGE STICK.


We can’t even blame the mushrooms for this idea, folks. Charming came up with this plan, stone cold sober!

The Squire is eventually caught and put in Storybrooke’s one-celled jail that has no security whatsoever. There, King Arthur visits him and reveals to the audience that the whole thing was a setup! There is no magic bean! There is no way for the Camelot-ians to ever leave Storybrooke! So, now they want to turn Storybrooke into Camelot (On the bright side, at least Storybrooke will finally have books with words in it, and comfy chairs for all the residents’ butts!)

Then, King Arthur makes the Squire drink some green drugs and die, because that’s just what fairytale drug dealers do! Drugs are bad, kiddies! Let this be a lesson to you.

prince high

There are no comfy chairs in jail, Druggie Charming!

Well, except for magic mushrooms. Magic mushrooms are awesome! (P.S. The same mushroom from the Camelot part of the story seems to have somehow made its way over to Storybrooke. So Merlin-Tree fans can rejoice! We might get some Conversations with Foliage on this show yet!)

A Rumpel for Every Occasion

Meanwhile, Belle is staring at the rose in the jar that represents her beau Rumpel’s life, rather than staring at Rumpel himself, even though he’s lying on a couch less than two minutes away, because . . . priorities. Belle eventually notices that the rose has regained its petals, which means Rumpel isn’t comatose anymore!

wake up

“Does this mean I’m going to actually have to start watering this plant? Bummer, it will be dead in a week!”

Unfortunately for Belle, all her flower staring has given Emma the opportunity to kidnap and then awaken Rumpel by using the tool he touched before he became the Dark One. Coincidentally, this just so happens to be the same tool she pilfered from the metaphor for Hook’s penis while she was there trying to get laid earlier in the episode. (So many phalluses in this episode! Phalluses, foliage, and lots and lots of drugs!)

As a result of this kidnapping, we are treated to a cool scene where Emma’s Multiple Personality Disorder Version of Rumpel instructs her on how to coerce Real Rumpel (who now has a pure heart because all his assholeyness has been leached out of him and inserted into Emma) into helping Emma become the Biggest Asshole on the Planet. This scene’s gloriousness proves that you can never have too many Rumpels.

hehe rump

need you

(Now, you can have too many magic mushrooms, which might cause you to see too many Rumpels, but that’s a story for another week.)


So, Oncies, will Asshole Emma and Emma’s Multiple Personality Disorder Rumpel force Real Rumpel to turn Emma into the Biggest Asshole on the Planet? Will Merlin Tree help the gang find out what a huge douchebag King Arthur is before he turns Storybrooke into a literate drug den? Will Prince Charming ever get to sit in that really nice chair again?

Charming in the streets. Snoozy in the sheets...

My butt is heartbroken!

Tune in next week to find out!

When you support Happy Nice Time People on Patreon, 100% of your pledge goes straight to our writers. 

TV Show: Once Upon a Time

You may also like...